Busting the Myths about Palm Oil || MPOC Bloggers Meet 2nd Edition

We should eat Healthy fats such as naturally Trans free Palm oil but in moderation- Dr. Kalyana Sundram (MPOC)

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Recently me and my fellow bloggers were part of MPOC (Malaysian Palm Oil Council) Bloggers Meet conducted at Taj Vivanta, MG Road on 19th November.

The eye opener seminar helped us to know the real facts about Palm Oil and Palm Oil Kernel Oil and helped busting the myths surrounding Palm Oil. The Session was started with a short brief about the whole event by Priyanka Patel from Six Sigma.

Then Bhavna Shah who is the Country Head of India & Malaysia, shared the facts about Palm Oil and during the session the high point was to have clear picture about every aspect of Palm Oil rather than trusting the foreign funded NGOs trying to malignant the reputation of Malaysian Government using Palm Oil related wrong information which is leading to false news articles and in result most people tend to go with the google facts rather than trying to do some research by themselves.

The future agenda of Foreign funded NGO’s in India is against import of Palm Oil. MPOC was started to promote the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil and its products by enhancing the image of palm oil and creating better acceptance of palm oil through awareness of various technological and economic advantages (techno-economic advantages) and environmental sustainability. Malaysia and Indonesia have joined hands in fighting Palm Oil Bashing. Palm Oil Industry has challenged the status quo of other oil producing company. As Food security is still an issue today, Palm oil is definitely a major source of Oils and Fats for the entire world. 19 Million Tons of Palm Oil was produced by Malaysia last year.India is the highest Importer of Palm Oil in the world.

India is a great land of opportunity for palm oil and palm oil products.

Which edible oil is most climate friendly and which one is most damaging for climate change? Read the facts in table below.

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10 Facts on Palm Oil

  1. The oil palm fruit produces two types of oils; palm oil from the flesh and palm kernel oil from the seed.
  2. Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil, making it cholesterol free. It helps raise beneficial HDL-cholesterol level and has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol in the body.
  3. Palm oil has a balanced ratio of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids.
  4. Palm oil is rich in antioxidants Vitamin E tocotrienols.
  5. Palm oil is easily digested, absorbed and utilised as a source of energy. It also promotes the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
  6. Palm oil is free of harmful trans-fat. It is semi-solid at room temperature; eliminating the need for hydrogenation, a process which results in the formation of trans fatty acids.
  7. Red palm oil is an excellent source of pro-Vitamin A carotenoids. It has 15 times more carotenoids than carrots and 50 times more than tomatoes.
  8. Palm oil is stable at high temperature, making it ideal for deep frying. It imparts a much desired taste neutrality in fried food.
  9. Palm oil is versatile. It is used as cooking oil either directly or in blended form, and in the manufacture of ice-cream, creamer, shortening, margarine, vegetable ghee and specialty fats.
  10. Palm oil is able to prolong shelf life of manufactured products as it is oxidative resistant.

Numerous Benefits of Palm Oil 

Palm Oil is amazing Nature’s Gift to Mankind.Palm offers highest edible oil per unit area and round the year production in most ecofriendly conditions compare to other field oilseed crops.Palm also offers large number of Derivatives for edible and non-edible applications. Palm Oil has less sticky residue that means less usage of water and detergent while washing utensils.

PALM OIL

Palm oil is derived from the fleshof the fruit of the oil palm species E. Guineensis. In its virgin form, the oil is bright orange-red due to the high content of carotene. Palmoil is Nature’s Gift to Malaysia, and Malaysia’s to the World.

Palmoil is semi-solid at room temperature; a characteristic brought about by its approx. 50 percent saturation level. Palm oil (and its products) has good resistance to oxidation and heat at prolonged elevated temperatures; hence, making palm oil an ideal ingredient in frying oilblends. Manufacturers and end-users around the world incorporate high percentages of palm oil in their frying oil blends for both performance and economic reasons.

In fact, in many instances, palm oil has been used as 100 percent replacement for traditional hydrogenated seed oils such as soybean oil and canola. Products fried in palm oil include potato chips, frenchfries, doughnuts, ramen noodles and nuts.

Health and Nutrition

The palm oil is rich in naturalchemical compounds important for health and nutrition. Among others, it is a natural source of Carotenoids & Vitamin E as well as supplying fatty acids and other important fat-soluble micronutrients. It also supplies an abundance of calories that gives us much-needed energy for our daily life.

What are the outstanding characteristics of palm oil?

  1. Palm oil is one of Nature’s richest sources of Vitamin E tocotrienols and pro-Vitamin A carotenoids.
  2. It is cholesterol-free. Studies have shown that palm olein (liquid portion of palm oil) and olive oil have similar beneficial effects on plasma cholesterol levels.
  3. Additionally, animal and cell-culture studies have found that palm tocotrienols inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer.
  4. Stable at high temperatures, palm olein is the ideal choice for household and industrial frying as it is less prone to oxidation.
  5. Palm oil is also odourless and neutral in flavour, thus preserving the natural taste of food.
  6. Unlike other vegetable oils, palm oil is naturally semi- solid at room temperature; it does not require hydrogenation and is therefore free of trans fats.
  7. Palm oil is one of the 17 edible oils cited by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) / World Health Organisation (WHO) Food Standard under the CODEX Alimentarius Commission Programme.

Does palm oil contain trans fats?

No. Palm oil does not need hydrogenation as its natural semi-solid properties make it highly suitable in food formulations. Therefore, food products containing palm oil as the sole or main fat ingredient are essentially free of harmful trans fats.

Palm Oil in Food Products

What are the uses of palm oil?

Palm oil can be used both in its raw state as well as in the refined form. In Southeast Asia, Africa and parts of Brazil, palm oil is widely used in domestic cooking. In Europe and the United States, palm oil is mainly used in its pale yellow refined form.

Palm oil is a very useful ingredient because of its consistency. It is semi-solid at the European and North American room temperature and is widely used by manufacturers because of its bland taste and quality of end-products.

It is also oxidative resistant and has the ability to prolong the shelf-life of manufactured products.

What food products contain palm oil?

Palm oil’s semi-solid properties make it a favourite ingredient of food manufacturers. There are unlimited palm oil fractions for use in any kind of food application. The oil can be incorporated into a wide variety of food items, including cooking oil, margarine, noodles, shortening, vegetable ghee, bakery products, chocolate, creamer and ice cream. Due to its excellent stability, palm olein is the world’s top choice as frying oil for instant noodles, French fries, potato crisps, doughnuts, snacks, and other fried foods.

The natural solid nature of palm stearin makes it ideal for formulating solid fats such as vanaspati, margarine, shortening and other bakery fats. As there is no necessity for hydrogenation, palm-based fats are free of trans fats.

What does palm oil contribute to health?

Palm oil, like other fats, ensures proper growth and enables the body to absorb fat soluble vitamins. In addition, palm oil helps in keeping up the HDL (‘good’) cholesterol levels.

Palm Oil in Non-Food Products

What are palm-based oleochemicals?

Oleochemicals refer to chemicals derived from oils and fats which have been broken down into their constituent fatty acids and glycerol. These products can be further modified to produce various types of oleo-derivatives.

Oleochemicals are often divided into two categories, namely basic oleochemicals and derivatives. Oleochemicals which are sourced from palm oil or palm kernel oil are known as palm-based oleochemicals. Malaysia is the world largest producer of oleochemicals, most of which are palm-based.

Palm-based oleochemicals have properties that are suitable for personal care products including skincare, hair care, oral care and cosmetics. In these products, the oleochemicals and their derivatives provide lubricity, humectants, emulsifiers, emollients, viscosity modifiers, lather improvers, conditioners and sheen.

Later on Dr. Meena ( Dietitian) enlightened us  about the health benefits associated with Palm oil .

Then the floor was opened for the interactive discussion regarding the Palm oil.

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After this highly informative session we had fun in trying out the Super Hero’s Masks and get our pictures clicked at the Selfie Booth. Then all the participants/ Bloggers views about Palm Oil was recorded live so spread more awareness.

 

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Then a scrumptious Lunch Buffet was being arranged by the Taj Vivant to take care of the hunger pangs.

Overall I got to know so many real truths about MPOC and as they are going to be celebrating 100 years of Palm Oil in Malaysia, don’t forget to take part in the interesting contests being line up and get a chance to visit Malaysia and explore the Palm Oil Production in person.

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  Malaysia’s Palm Oil Industry

What is the history of this successful industry?

The oil palm was introduced by the British colonisers to Malaya as an ornamental plant in the early 1870s. In 1917, Henri Fauconnier, a French rubber and coffee planter, saw its potential as a cash crop and commercially planted oil palm in Tennamaram Estate, Bestari Jaya, (formerly known as Batang Berjuntai), Selangor.

The demand for palm oil as a lubricant for steam engines and other machinery during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century encouraged British conglomerates in Malaya to replace rubber with oil palm on their plantations. By 1925, about 3,350 hectares of oil palm had been grown in various parts of Malaya and the acreage increased to about 20,000 hectares by World War II.

In the 1960s, the Malaysian Government began largescale cultivation of oil palm under an agricultural scheme aimed at eradicating poverty and improving the living standards of landless farmers. The refining of crude palm oil started in the 1970s.

By the end of 2004, Malaysia had become the largest producer and exporter of palm oil, accounting for 11% and 26% respectively of the world’s production and export.

Today, the palm oil produced goes into food applications as well as key ingredients in non-food applications such as soaps, candles, lubricants and cosmetics.

 Corporate Social Responsibility

Why is Malaysian palm oil ecofriendly?

The Malaysian palm oil industry is one of the most highly organised sectors of any national agricultural systems in the world. The oil palm has been fulfilling sustainability indicators due to its high productivity and efficient carbon sequestration.

Moreover, the last half of the 20th century saw research and development activities taking place along with technological advances. These activities helped raise yields and reduce inputs, thus achieving the goal of maximising oil production from minimal use of land.

The oil palm is the most productive oilseed crop, with an average yield of 4.03 tonnes of oil per hectare, compared to 0.74, 0.61 and 0.41 tonnes of oil respectively from rapeseed, sunflower seed and soybean. The land area for vegetable oil production can be reduced by 5 to 10 times if palm oil replaces other oils.

Although it is one of the two major producers of palm oil, Malaysia utilises less than 18% of its land area of 32.86 million hectares for oil palm cultivation. At least 50% of the land area remains as rainforests, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves.

This green canopy over Malaysia’s land area, provides habitats for diverse forms of flora and fauna. Malaysia also does the world a huge service in reducing global warming by holding so much of its land as permanent forest and keeping less than 24% for agriculture, most
of which are tree crops, providing tree cover.

Malaysia’s century-old plantations are professionally managed through Good Agricultural Practices in compliance with corporate governance and social responsibility. This minimises the impact of plantation activities on the environment and biodiversity. In fact, oil palm plantations in Malaysia are often cited as the best model of tropical agriculture and Malaysian standards are usually referred to as an industry benchmark.

What is MPOC’s main contribution towards conserving wildlife, in implementing its corporate social responsibility?

MPOC has established the Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund (MPOWCF) with an initial funding of RM20 million in 2006. MPOWCF has initiated a number of wildlife and biodiversity conservation programmes examining highly pertinent issues faced by the industry: from orang utan and elephant conservation to the country’s first Wildlife Rescue Centre. These initiatives send a strong message to stakeholders that the Malaysian palm oil industry is indeed committed in both its words and actions to the conservation of the environment and wildlife in Malaysia while at the same time managing the industry’s activities sustainably.

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